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Five Ingredient Recipes: 10 Easy, Healthy Recipes You Can Make with Five Items from Your Fridge and Pantry

They say the secret to whipping up satisfying quick meals is to keep a well-stocked pantry. But according to a recent article in Forbes magazine, Millennials (people in their teens, twenties, and early thirties) “make spur-of-the-moment food decisions and have less well-stocked pantries.”

That combination can make it harder to eat healthy meals, but it doesn’t have to, especially if you have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on-hand. Fresh produce doesn’t usually need complicated preparation or a lot of supporting ingredients.

Keeping that in mind, I’ve compiled a menu of simple fruit and vegetable-based dishes with five ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt or pepper). And these dishes aren’t just for Millennials. Anyone from children to senior citizens can enjoy them. After all, who doesn’t need more quick, nutritious recipes on hand?

BEVERAGES

Spinach & Banana Power Smoothie: This spinach-banana smoothie is packed with vitamins A, B6, C, K and folate, plus the minerals potassium and manganese.

BREAKFAST

Tomato & Egg Stir Fry: Many people skimp on vegetables at breakfast time, but here’s an easy way to include them: Try scrambling tomatoes and green onions into your eggs. You’ll be getting vitamins A, C, and K, the mineral potassium, plus the antioxidant lycopene. (Personally, I’d also throw some greens in there. Swiss chard is fantastic because it cooks really quickly.)

Healthy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip: If you like apples and peanut butter, here’s an upgrade that features Greek yogurt and chia seeds, and makes an easy breakfast for kids or adults. Apples and chia seeds are both good ways to add fiber to your diet.

SNACKS

Baked Kale Chips: Snacks, by definition, are usually quickly prepared, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be nutritious. You probably already know that kale is a nutritional superstar, being an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, plus manganese. And what could be easier than sliding a tray of kale, olive oil and salt into the oven and baking it for ten minutes?

Coconut Date Bars: If you need an on-the-go snack, these coconut date bars are just the ticket! Packed with heart-healthy nuts and naturally sweetened with dates, they don’t need to be refrigerated, so you can just pop them in your bag and go.

DINNER

Eggplant & Goat Cheese Lasagna: Being gluten-free, I was drawn to this recipe for eggplant and goat cheese lasagna. Eggplant strips take the place of noodles! Perfect if you are trying to cut carbs or are just looking for an easy dinner.

Broccoli Noodles & Cheese Casserole: If you do eat pasta, though, this broccoli, noodle and cheese casserole looks like a kid-pleaser. Try it with whole-wheat pasta. Broccoli contains vitamins A, C, K and folate, not to mention detoxifying phyto-nutrients known as glucosinolates.

SIDE DISHES

Garlic Roasted Broccoli: Side dishes are a great way to let vegetables shine without a lot of fussy preparation. This garlic-roasted broccoli is as simple as can be.

Cabbage Steaks: If you are a fan of garlic, these cabbage steaks are intriguing, too. Simply cut the cabbage into slices and bake with olive oil, garlic, onion powder and pepper. Cabbage provides vitamins C, K and folate, as well as manganese.

DESSERT

Apples & Pears Dessert: When it’s time for dessert, fruit is an obvious choice. While sometimes you can eat a raw apple or pear and be satisfied, other times you want something a little sweeter. Luckily, cooking fruit intensifies its natural sweetness. In this recipe, you just sauté one sliced apple and pear, add cinnamon and serve over Greek yogurt.

What are your go-to simple recipes?

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